Animated Movie

Tout en haut du mondeThe fierce collision of romance and realityThe fierce collision of romance and reality

The long road to the north” is a French animation master Remy. Shaye directed the animation feature film. Since its establishment, Rémy’s Studio Crazy Shadow has created more than one hundred animated works in different forms and with a rigorous style. They often self-labeled as poetic realism, the art of uniqueness and diversity is its consistent characteristics. This “Long Road to the North” also perfectly expresses this quality, but at the same time presents the viewer with a different style from the past.

The story is set in 1882, during the Tsarist period, when Russia had already undergone decades of industrial revolution. As the development of productivity inevitably brought about the reform of new maritime technology, there was the story of the protagonist Sasha’s grandfather Alyokhin’s Arctic expedition. 82 years in Tsarist Russia, the industrial revolution was completed about 60%, the use of steam engines and engines have been somewhat popular. The important prop of the play, the Irkin, may symbolize the most advanced technology of Russia at that time for the use of navigation. In fact, the industrial revolution in Europe and the ensuing Age of Navigation had already passed, and the European countries had their own colonial territories by this time. Tsarist Russia was already lagging behind the European countries, and the industrial revolution basically introduced technology and equipment from other countries, so it makes sense that the only villain-like role in the film is that of a young French aristocrat as a royal scientific advisor and has some influence on domestic politics.

It must be said that although the background of the film and the picture are born from the vivid Russian landscape, but the core of the story is still the unique French romantic realism style. The heroine Sasha’s grandfather Alyokhin as an aristocrat but a life of debauchery and love of freedom. This point is never understood by his family. The heroine Sasha has been close to her grandfather since she was a child, and she has always been proud of him for the broader world he depicted to her. Even after the death of her grandfather, the family is full of anxiety is not whether the honor and pursuit of her grandfather is inherited and recognized, but rather the issue of the loss and gain of family interests. Only Sacha was alone in grieving over his disappearance and the criticism of his grandfather. The French aristocrat is upset because he was offended by his grandfather and is eager to deny him everything, and in exchange for Sasha’s presence at the ball . But in fact, he is not sincere compensation, but intends to carry out a premeditated revenge on Sasha’s family honor. Sasha’s parents are disappointed with Sasha because of this. They believe that the preservation of the family interests is the highest, and in this point grandfather and they are not the same way. Sasha goes off on his own to find his grandfather’s long-lost Iljin in order to save the family’s honor. Up to this point, the conflict between the romantic and realistic ideas of the film is very evident. The family and other secular people and Sasha and grandfather philosophy, pursuit, beliefs are very different. Therefore, it is the initial dramatic conflict of the film.

Afterwards, Sasha went on the road alone with only a small amount of luggage. She arrives at the seaport with little food and shelter, meets a kind-hearted owner and becomes a hotel runner. Here she made her first change of identity and adapted to it perfectly. Then she meets the captain’s brother who does not know how to express his feelings and the second mate’s brother who is eager to prove himself to his brother. After a series of confrontations, the heroine successfully boarded the ship. During the voyage, the heroine is not content to be treated as a useless noble girl, Sasha was isolated and scorned at the beginning, but she just picked up a book, and constantly practice tying knots, and thus achieve their own value to be recognized, she achieved the second identity change. In the pursuit of their own ideas necessarily have to pay the price. In the film, the price is unknown in Sasha’s world, and instead of adult trade-offs, she makes an instant choice after a brief moment of hesitation. I think she can be called lonely and courageous, a trait that has been preserved in the Slavic peoples who have lived in the bitter cold for a long time. That’s why we call it a fighting race. The prominent portrayal of this trait and the heroine’s struggle all the way is also considered a romantic expression.

In the subsequent episodes, I even had the urge to not read further. But because of its picture and color rendering to remind me that this is an animated film, for this too harsh depiction of reality is always inclined to use the romantic expression. Sure enough, it did not let me down. In the process of a ship trying to cross the Arctic Ocean to the pole, looking for the Iljin, because of Sasha’s certainty, the whole ship according to her direction. Passing a glacier encountered one disaster after another. The captain’s brother is injured in the leg, and the second mate’s brother takes over his position. But the whole ship was in danger of losing food, and had to carry the luggage and the wounded in the ice and snow to find the Iljin. And this is actually just the beginning. The crew finally broke down in desperation and hunger. Began to lose their minds for food. Many disaster films, thrillers have tried to unfold the story with this similar plot. Desperate people, disorder began to ferment, the sprouting of human evil, you can hardly imagine what humans will do in this situation. Sasha was blamed by the people, blaming himself and going into the blizzard alone. Sasha found his grandfather’s frozen remains and his sailing diary. Grandpa had experienced the collapse of authority in a similar desperate scenario, and alone, in the manner of a tragic hero, he inserted the small flag he had agreed to with his granddaughter at the pole, and wrote his last verses looking at the setting sun. I can no longer distinguish whether this is a dream or reality. Common sense tells me that Sasha has probably been killed, dreaming of the meeting with her grandfather and the next episodes in her deathbed. But I still want to believe in hope. I believe that the people of the infighting finally chose to return to the crowd to save Sasha, but also to save themselves, to find the Irgun returned to their homeland. At this point, because of the extremely realistic portrayal of the previous, the final romantic approach gives the viewer a chance for release and redemption. We automatically choose to believe in the hopeful ending.

In addition, the movie also tries to use two emotional lines to express the theme of constant feelings. The grandfather-grandfather relationship between Sasha and his grandfather, the affection between Sasha and his parents, the captain and his second mate’s brother, and the budding love between Sasha and his young crew. Sasha and grandfather not only contain affection, but also contain the same idea of understanding and inheritance. In the beginning, as a noble girl, Sasha keeps her grandfather’s manuscript, defends his honor, and wears the earrings he gave her, she expresses her love and memory for him in her own way. When she chooses to embark on a journey to find the Iljin, all external objects no longer seem important. Because she has inherited the most important thing of her grandfather. Finally, Grandpa’s voyage diary gives the grandfather and grandson separated by the sun a final chance to say goodbye. Sasha gets a loving feedback from her grandfather. Sasha’s parents, like millions of secular parents, treat their children in a way they think is good, with little concern for what they really want. They, like the captain’s brother, do not know how to express their love, and even many times they equally do not understand what is most important to them. Sasha’s parents always thought that the position, the interests are the most important, the captain’s brother would rather sacrifice himself than damage the family ship. Only when faced with the possibility of losing the critical moment, they finally understand what is the most important. The exchange of identities between the captain’s brother and the second mate’s brother also allows them to begin to understand each other, and eventually they both choose to return to their affection.

The picture of the movie also shows the collision and blend of two styles of romance and reality. When you first look at the movie screen, you will be attracted by the background which contains a large area with a very high saturation of color block filling. The use of large areas of bright color blocks, so that the whole film even in the most low time will make people full of hope. The main character has simple lines, but delicate expressions and smooth movements. Especially the performance of the inner details of the small movements of the portrayal is very delicate and realistic. For example, the night before Sasha decided to leave alone, standing barefoot on the balcony, through the simple line changes, the subtle expression of a signal, Sasha made up his mind some kind of determination. The small details of the balcony footprints are also very subtle. The overall painting style of this film is full of wild vitality realistic style, such as oil painting like rough and realistic rendering, but not lack of romantic and delicate details depicted. For example, the first sunshine after the rain, a large glacial plain of wild hope, Sasha in the train when drowsy face crossed the light. The accumulation of these images let me slowly forget that this is an animated film, but from time to time remind me that this is an animated film. Romance and reality are united in the picture and the plot.

The founder of Studio Mad Shadow, Jacques Rémy and Elle, reminded me of the Japanese animation master Hayao Miyazaki. They both struggled to hold on to their ideals and certain obsessions. Their pursuit of art and cultural heritage prevented them from abandoning 2D in favor of 3D, a new technology that is more advanced but more impetuous. Since its inception, Mad Film Studio, as an alternative company that is not profit-oriented, has been attracting talented young creators from all over the world who have pursued and aspired for animation with an open platform and fair opportunities. This has led directly to their dynamic creativity and versatile style. He once said, “If we take amusement as the only reference, no matter which discipline of art we are in, we will end up with a culture that will die”. But this romantic pursuit is experiencing the impact of realism. Even though people’s viewing habits tend to be more impetuous and it is difficult to sink into an art film, true beauty inevitably triggers the pursuit and experience of beauty and nuance. Just as Pierre said, as long as you do what you are good at, 2D can also be recognized.

When the ideal and reality collide, the pursuit of the ideal, touching reality, right and wrong are others.

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